An Ode to Florence, Italy
*POST UPDATED NOVEMBER 2022.
It’s been a hot second since I posted any travel content & I thought we could all do with a bit of armchair travelling right about now, wouldn’t you agree?
Last September, Boyfriend & I went gallivanting through Tuscany on a quest to eat all the food & drink all the wine. Over the course of 10 beautiful days, we took seven different buses, two high-speed trains, and hit up five different towns + cities: Florence, San Gimignano, Siena, Castellina in Chianti, and Bologna. It was wonderful.
This post is the first of a five-part segment about Italy & I’m so excited to finally share some of our trip with you!
Before embarking on our journey, we decided that we wanted to thoroughly enjoy everything Italy has on offer (wine!), and for us that meant taking the slightly unconventional route of public transport. We just didn’t want the hassle of rental cars or maps or potential fines for driving through the wrong zones etc. The public transport in Tuscany is somewhat less than perfect, but as long as you plan everything out in advance – and allow for delays – I swear it is totally do-able. I’ll be adding a ‘Getting There’ section to each of these travel segments in case you have any questions.
I’ve posted about my Florentine favourites before – you can read that post here – so this post is somewhat light on new recommendations, but some spots are so good they deserve a second mention. What follows is more like a handful of notes that I’d like to tack onto my previous post, including suggestions on where to eat & drink, & which museums to explore.
I hope you enjoy!
Here’s the thing about Florence: flying in from another country is kind of a pain, but getting there from another Italian city is a dream! These are the routes we’ve found to be the easiest over the years:
• fly into Bologna, get the local bus into the city centre, & take the Frecciarossa – high speed train – to Florence. Our deep-seeded love of Bologna weighs heavily on this route, but it isn’t always feasible due to flight times.
• fly into Milan Bergamo, get a bus into Milano Centrale station & take theFrecciarossa from there. We tend to avoid this option of late due to the sheer unpleasantness at Centrale station – pickpockets & general troublemakers etc – but sometimes needs must.
• fly into Pisa, walk/take a bus to the main train station & take a Frecciarossa from there. Perhaps the fasted route of the lot!
where to stay
where to have coffee
S Forno Panifico // owned by the Il Santo Bevetore crowd, this is a wonderful place for coffee and pastries. They only do filter coffee – with free refills – and the pastries are some of the best we’ve had in the city. Added bonus: everything is super cheap! Address: Via Santa Monaca, 3r, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
where to eat
4leoni // I have no new words, just wow. I’ve said it before, but it literally gets better every time we visit. There are so many wonderful dishes – pear taleggio pasta! bistecca fiorentina! potatoes al forno! pecorino plates! the cheesecake! – that you just can’t go wrong. A definite must visit. More here.
Il Santino // we can no longer deny it: we love this tiny version of Il Santo Bevetore more than the main restaurant itself. The wine, the ambiance, the sharing platters – yes, yes, yes! Another must visit. More on both here.
where to drink
Caffe del Verone // our only new-to-us cafe of the trip. This one offers a great view of the Duomo. The drinks were a little bit out of our price range, so we settled for two ice cold glasses of sparkling water instead. Address: Museo degli Innocenti, Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, 13, 50121 Firenze FI, Italy
museums & attractions
Palazzo Vecchio Museum // so unexpectedly great! We visited very early in the morning after a photo walk & loved every second! No idea what took us so long to visit, but glad we finally got around to it. The Room of 500 was worth the ticket price alone, never mind getting to visit the Medici apartments or see the views over the city. Address: P.za della Signoria, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
I hope you found the above somewhat helpful, friends! I’ll be sharing the next leg of our journey – San Gimignano – early next month, so be sure to check back.